Monday, December 29, 2008

Weekday Photoblogging

Interesting invasive species shots recently posted to Flickr...

A spiny-tailed iguana in Lemon Bay Park, Florida.
Originally uploaded by Flickerhoo

Bridal creeper in Australia.
Originally uploaded by Mundoo

Asian shore crab in Connecticut.
Originally uploaded by Ken-ichi

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hunting For The Right Angle

The US Forest Service, in conjunction with a number of other government agencies and environmental groups, has produced a new video to teach hunters and anglers about invasive species prevention. Featuring stories about the ways that hunters and anglers interact with the environment, "Defending Favorite Places" is filled with examples of the way invasive species impact the environment. It also presents several good tips to prevent the spread of invasive species, for example, cleaning off your clothes, vehicle and equipment to remove any invasive species hitchhikers. Also worth noting is a recommendation to report invasive species (or any plant or animal that seems out of place!), and record its location, especially if you're armed with a GPS unit. As one of the anglers noted, if you are a "regular" at a fishing site or hunting area, you're going to be the first one to notice when some new plant or animal shows up.

You can download "Defending Favorite Places" in full-length or mini versions to show to your favorite group of outdoor enthusiasts, or enquire about the DVD version by contacting:

USDA Forest Service San Dimas Technology & Development Center 444 East Bonita Avenue San Dimas, CA 91773 909-599-1267

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Surrender The Frogs!

The Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks in Montana is asking anyone who purchased an African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) from the Grow-a-Frog company to either return the frog growing kits or euthanize the animals, according to this report from the Great Falls Tribune. The impetus behind this request is the concern that the frogs could escape or be released and establish in the wild. The African clawed frog has been banned in Montana since 2005, but the owner of Grow-a-Frog, a Florida-based mail order company, said that the company was only recently made aware of the ban.

Regular ISW readers may remember this post from September, about a similar situation in Nevada.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Burn Notice

Is kudzu the new black? If Agro*Gas Industries has their way, it could be. A plant in Tennessee, started up this past summer, converts the wily invasive vine into ethanol, or..."Kudzunol." It takes about 10-15 pounds of kudzu to make a gallon of ethanol. Now, what happens when they start to run out of kudzu? Read more over at the Chemically Green blog, where they've got some serious, hard-core coverage of the issue.

Update: Here's a link to the NBC Nightly News report that spawned this post.

(Thanks to Mimi G. for sending in a tip about this story.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Weekend Blog Blogging

Some recent interesting invasive species posts in the blogosphere:

  • Myrmecos Blog nicely covers the latest research on imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) from the journal PNAS. The researchers found that the ties between anthropogenic disturbance and the fire ants were strong, with intact forest patches remaining fire ant-free (thanks budak!).
  • Huckleberry Days does introduced doves in British Colombia. Insightful words and some good photos, too.
  • Living the Scientific Life has a great post about new research delving into the origins of the monk parrot (Myiopsitta monachus) invasion, with molecular evidence tying that invasion to the international pet trade.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ballast Bill Set Adrift?

The Muskegon Chronicle is reporting that legislation that would have made ballast water treatment mandatory for ships entering the Great Lakes will not see a vote before the end of the year. That means any efforts to regulate ballast at the national level will have to start fresh in 2009.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Coo And The Gang

Residents of Colorado are being asked to keep an eye out for the Eurasian collared dove (Streptopelia decaocto) this season, according to this story in Fort Collins Coloradoan. The request has been put out by Project FeederWatch, an effort from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to track birds at feeders across the USA. The dove, which just a few years ago was considered a rare sight, was detected at more than 20% of Colorado FeederWatch sites in 2007.